This coming Sunday during worship we will celebrate the Ordination and Installation of two classes of Elders and Deacons. These church leaders were elected in January of 2020 and 2021 and have begun their service, but we wanted to wait until we were worshipping together in person to have them respond to the Constitutional Questions and ordain and install them to their respective offices.
In the Presbyterian tradition, the ordination of lay leaders for the church goes back 500 years, to the Protestant Reformation, when our theological forebears parted company with an ecclesiastical hierarchy of church governance led only by priests, and we ceased to have bishops entrusted with the power and authority to appoint all church leaders. Presbyterians believe we make more faithful decisions together than any one person could alone, and affirm the “priesthood of all believers” by electing lay leaders to govern the church.
The primary work of elders and deacons is to lead the whole congregation in worship, mission and ministries of compassion! Elders lead the governance and spiritual discernment of the life of the congregation, and Deacons lead our ministries of care for one another. Together these servant leaders help all of us be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
For Presbyterians ordination is not synonymous with ministry. All Christians are called by God and equipped by the Spirit for service in the world when they are joined to the ministry of Jesus Christ at their baptism. Therefore, the service of Ordination and Installation is not for new officers alone, but rather a churchwide celebration for everyone who has been called into this fold of God here at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.
The Nominating Committee is still accepting nominations for consideration of next year’s new classes of Elders, Deacons, Trustees and the 2022 Nominating Committee. The deadline for nominations is next Thursday, September 30. We welcome your prayerful consideration of who God may be calling into a position of leadership for the coming years. You can submit nominations online or pick up a form in the Narthex on Sunday!
I hope you will join us on Sunday for this celebration of our congregational life together!